PTT chief expects to work harder in preparing firm for leap forward
Since taking the helm at PTT last year, Pailin Chuchottaworn has had little time to relax. But the chief executive officer expects to work even harder this year, as much of the action plan to propel the national energy company forward will be implemented during 2013 and in later years.In an interview with The Nation and Krungthep Turakij newspapers, Pailin said that among the most important tasks of his four-year stint was to prepare PTT to deal with tougher competition and rev up the company's engine to leapfrog the conglomerate into the future.
The company has already carried out some parts of the action plan, such as the technology and "green" road maps, but it will take time before these efforts bear fruitful results, he said.
The top man said the PTT growth story to date was divided into three periods, or what he called the "three Big Bang" stages over past years. The first Big Bang was when PTT came into existence as the Petroleum Authority of Thailand in December 1978, followed by |the second when it was listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in 2001.
PTT is currently in the third Big Bang period, as it ventures into overseas territories to seek higher growth and continue to foster national energy security.
"The question is how long we can keep our present growth momentum. It's time to ask ourselves if we are daring enough to go out and build our growth across foreign frontiers," he said.
It is also a good time for PTT to start exploring business opportunities elsewhere, as one day the natural gas in the Gulf of Thailand - currently its growth staple - will run out. This poses a challenge in terms of how the company can continue to maintain national energy security and further grow its own wealth.
He said he was adjusting PTT's base to turn it into a rock-solid foundation, which he likened to standing on the strong base of a pyramid. Once this is achieved, PTT can rev up to generate high-octane growth over the next 10 years.
Pailin said PTT was transforming its organisation into a "technological, advanced and green national oil company", or Tagnoc. At the same time, it continues to pursue the principles behind its famous motto of "Big, Long, Strong", which means big organisation, long value chain and strong management |system.
As it travels along the road to becoming a Tagnoc, PTT has focused on developing higher-value products and research and development. Some R&D can pay off within a short period, while other work will take time to yield a reward.
He added that the company's self-challenging philosophy would drive PTT to an even higher level, with its greatest goal being to become a technology licensor. The giant at present is still a licensee, which purchases high technology and learns from others.
HR ROLE CRUCIAL
The energy conglomerate also aims to be a truly green company with excellent internal management. It expects to open soon the PTT Leadership and Learning Institute to incubate its new generation of leaders.
"I told everyone that I'm in charge of HR. You may ask why the CEO has to handle this job by himself. It's because human resources are the most important element in the organisation. Our HR [policy] has only one goal - bringing our human resources to their highest potential," he said.
For Pailin, the HR role goes way beyond simply taking care of salary payments, as human resources need to be nurtured from the day they join PTT until the last day they work for the company. "That's why this issue is so important that the CEO has to step in to take charge."
As a large organisation, PTT needs many leaders, who will also have to understand the importance of the technology it uses. Its people must have an opened-mind attitude, show mindfulness and be quick to adapt to the fast-changing world, he said, adding that PTT wanted to create a new breed of management, with people equipped with an international perspective, as one day they will have to take on challenges overseas.
PTT has had many missions to accomplish over the past year, and he is very sympathetic with the staff and the effort they have put in to achieve them.
"I think it's satisfying that we have been able to achieve many of them. If you ask whether our staff are willing to adapt to change, you have to understand that it's human nature most of the time not to welcome changes. However, if we can show to them that change is a common part of normal life, then it will become easier to make changes. Simply speaking, our organisation must keep changing," said the chief executive.
Another goal Pailin is determined to achieve is PTT being widely recognised as a company with great social responsibility and environment-friendly products and practices.
Talking about the conglomerate's present 95th ranking in the Fortune Global 500, a list of the world's largest corporations, he said Thai companies currently could not be regarded as second to none when competing on the global stage. Being in the Fortune top 100 proves, however, that Thai companies can achieve such a standing, and he believes other corporations in the Kingdom can follow in PTT footsteps in this regard.